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Extended Interview: NewsHour’s Chris Dee and WETA’s Christopher Lane

In an extended version of the interview aired on Friday, NewsHour Director of Production Operations Chris Dee and WETA's Vice President of Engineering Christopher Lane talk about the NewsHour's transition to high-definition programming.

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  • QUESTION:

    We're seeing the set being taken down, a new one coming in this week. Why? Why is this related to high definition?

    CHRIS DEE, NewsHour director of production operations: I think that it's a set that's been up for nine years. And it's a set that was designed around standard-definition television 4:3 format for the last nine years, and of course the NewsHour has been shooting in that format for the last 33 years. But today is a new day. We're going to debut the new set and the new format of the program in HD [high definition] on Dec. 17.

    Shooting in HD requires a lot more focus and detail, or should I say a lot more focus and detail shows up in the picture. So this old set, albeit it served us very well for the last nine years, on standard definition television looks fine. On a high-definition television you will see the scratches, the scores, and the nicks, and the fading and what not, as well as the color imagery that you find in an HD picture is much greater than that of what the standard definition picture was. So we want to take advantage of that to produce a new look that is similar to the NewsHour, keeping in tradition with the NewsHour and the stately look we have, but leverage the real estate, the width of the picture, being that high-definition is wider, has greater color point, and certainly has more depth and definition to it. Thus, a new set is required in tandem with the new format.

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